Shadow education and the curriculum and culture of schooling in South Korea
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Many people have become aware of Japanese “cram” schools, or juku, where students attend special classes after school has ended to improve their chances at passing rigorous examinations. The phenomenon of such private tutoring services has gained a foothold in many countries, including the Republic of Korea. This supplemental schooling, sometimes referred to as “shadow schooling”, has gained traction in South Korea, a country whose students have done very well in international assessments such as PISA1 and TIMSS.2 Examining private tutoring in South Korea offers an opportunity to study the effects of after-school tutoring in a country that respects educational achievements and provides schooling with a culturally important position in the national culture.
In South Korea, the main public school system is known as hakkyo, while the after-school tutoring, provided by many “brand name” companies across the country, is generally known as hakwon. The author, a well-respected education...